My pal got his laptop stolen for the second time in 3 years!

In case you’ve ever wondered if these things actually happen…

He lives right in the heart of a major city and it was stolen at 10 a.m. on a weekday, in full-view of a major street.

Luckily for him, he decided to give up on local info storage and went totally to online backup after the first theft.

Now, when he bites the bullet and buys another laptop today, it will be super-easy to get back up and running again.

Btw, with his cloud interface, he never even missed a beat – all he had to do was connect over my computer and he was 100% back in business.

Moral to that story – online backup isn’t the answer to ALL your problems but for a stolen computer, using a service like Mozy or Livedrive can sure lower your blood pressure.

Remote Online Backup is way safer than any local external drive alternative.  It is by far the easiest and cheapest solution for backing up or archiving your data.

But, most services can improve in at least 2 of these 3 key areas:

1. Mobility - Some providers already have iPhone and iPad apps. I use an iPhone app and it virtually doubles the handiness of online backup. You can see all the files you’ve backed up on your phone.  That’s REAL mobility.

Like everything, there is a trade-off here – the more accessible, the more hackable, but I consider the trade-off a net positive – as long as the online backup service we’re talking about is one of the major players, like Carbonite or IDrive.

2. Monthly Prices - This is a trend I am seeing every month, as more services get traction and are becoming mainstream and commoditized.

Also, I like the flexibility of paying by the month, versus a year in advance. Mozy and IDrive do this now and I believe more and more will be forced into offering this as an option.

3. Stronger Customer Service - This has got to get better.  This is a weakness with almost all online backup services now.

Offering a domestically-based call center available for questions to customers will be a game changer for whichever company wises-up and puts it in place first.

I am impatient by nature, so I expect online backup services to step to the plate and get this all done yesterday.  With their meteorically increasing popularity though, innovations are only happening as fast as the most aggressive companies challenge the market with new add-ons.

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